To recognize hospitals that demonstrate excellence in cardiac care, The Joint Commission is now offering Comprehensive Cardiac Center (CCC) Certification. CCCs may achieve the certification by demonstrating a combination of compliance with consensus-based standards, effective integration of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, and an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement.

The new certification builds upon The Joint Commission’s existing cardiovascular certification programs to recognize hospitals that evaluate patient care across an extensive array of cardiac domains. To receive the certification, hospitals must achieve and/or maintain required Advanced Disease-Specific Care requirements, as well as additional CCC Certification-specific requirements. This includes an evaluation of the interaction and communication among the interdisciplinary team, patients, and families in a cardiac center of excellence.

“The new certification program encourages hospitals to deliver integrated, coordinated and patient-centered cardiac care and communications to support transitions from the Emergency Department to diagnosis, treatment and follow-up through outpatient care services,” says Patrick Phelan, interim executive director of hospital business development at The Joint Commission. “Comprehensive Cardiac Center Certification evaluates these transitions, as well as focuses on key processes to assist hospitals with reducing unwanted variations in how cardiac care is delivered to lower costs and improve patient outcomes.”

Joint Commission accredited hospitals are eligible to apply for the optional certification program and must meet these minimum requirements:

  • Management of ischemic heart disease, percutaneous coronary interventions, coronary bypass graft surgery, cardiac valve disease, arrhythmias, advanced heart failure and cardiac arrest.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation of patients either onsite or by referral.
  • Cardiovascular risk factor identification and cardiac disease prevention.
  • Minimum of 10 patients at the comprehensive cardiac center during the time of the onsite review by The Joint Commission.
  • Use of a nationally audited registry or similar data collection tool to monitor data and measure outcomes for specified conditions and procedures.

In accordance with The Joint Commission’s standards development process, the certification program was developed with input from a technical advisory panel comprised of clinicians with specific expertise in comprehensive cardiac care.